The New South Wales opposition has criticised the government's
handling of new smoking laws in the state's pubs and clubs.
The new laws - banning smoking across most of the premises -
are already under review, jeopardising $850 million worth of
Reports suggest the partial smoking bans could be scrapped and
a total ban imposed. A government report is recommending the
so-called 75:25 rule be replaced by a complete enclosed areas
ban on smoking.
The news has sparked fury from shadow gaming minister George
"Hotels and clubs have invested
up to $850 million over the last two years on renovations to be
compliant with new smoking laws which restrict smoking to areas
that are 25 per cent open," Mr Souris said.
"Barely a month has passed and
the Labor government, fresh into a fixed four year term and
with a Premier who is rapidly losing interest in his job, is
changing the ground rules and potentially leaving NSW pubs and
clubs needing to respond to millions of dollars in further
renovations to their venues as soon as September."
"This is a clear failure of the
Labor government to properly consult with the pub and club
industry over these changes. How many more millions of dollars
will the Iemma Government force NSW pubs and clubs to waste by
further bungled smoking legislation?"
"If Labor gets away with this the
industry's wasted investment will ultimately be borne by hotel
and club patrons."
Mr Souris said the club industry had a right to be angry with
the state government about the smoking laws being reviewed so
soon after their introduction.